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Author Topic:   Primary Battery Distribution Wiring on 1995 DAUNTLESS 17
stagalv posted 01-19-2007 12:23 PM ET (US)   Profile for stagalv   Send Email to stagalv  
I am going through a rewire on a 1995 Dauntless 17. I am switching from a single wet or flooded battery to twin Lifeline [valve regulated lead acid absorbent glass mat Group-24 size] batteries. I have not decided if I want to go with the BEP cluster or use Blue Sea products. The new selector switch from [Blue Seas] is very interesting as it isolates [the batteries] from each other. Electronic [loads are] on one [battery] and starting [loads are] on the other. You can combine [the batteries] if necessary or to allow the alternator to charge both. Not sure if I am going to put in a [voltage sensitive relay] or [automatic combiner relay]. That is somewhat overkill for my application. [Give me] any thoughts [about whether or not the use of a voltage sensitive relay or an automatic combiner relay is excessive for an installation of dual valve regulated lead acid absorbent glass mat Group-24 size batteries on a 1995 Dauntless 17].


jimh posted 01-19-2007 08:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
The decision on using dual batteries is probably best based on the ability to start your main engine by pull starting. If you can start the main engine by pull starting then a redundant battery system may be excessive. If you cannot start your main engine without the electric starting motor then it is a good idea to have a redundant battery system.

The decision on including an automatic combiner relay or a voltage sensitive relay in a dual battery system is probably best based on your ability to manage the charging of the batteries by use of the existing battery primary wiring installation. If your pattern of use and your usual operating methods have proven to be successful in maintaining the charge on both batteries, then adding an automatic relay combiner or a voltage sensitive relay to a dual battery system may be seen as excessive. Boaters have survived for decades without these devices. However they are handy devices, and their installation is not particularly complicated or expensive, so I really see no reason to avoid using them, other than the added cost. Fortunately, that is also moderate.

Chuck Tribolet posted 01-19-2007 11:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
If you have a trivial load other than the main engine, a
single battery should be fine. GPS, fishfinder, VHF, are
all trivial to the battery. Trolling motors and serious
stereos are not trivial. Dunno about full time live well pumps.


davej14 posted 01-20-2007 12:56 AM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
Probably a single AGM dual purpose battery is your best bet for a simple solution. Starting batteries don't like to be used for accessories without the charging system operating.
stagalv posted 01-20-2007 10:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for stagalv  Send Email to stagalv     
[Removed comments which were in regard to how information is organized and presented on thw website and not on the topic of Small Boat Electrical systems--jimh.]

Thanks and I appreciate those with input.

bluewaterpirate posted 01-21-2007 08:38 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
If you choose to go with two batteries I would recommend the BEP 716 Battery Distribution Cluster and here is why. The BEP 716 is ideally suited for a single outboard installation. Here is how it works:
The BEP 716 will ensure that the starting battery is recharged after each start. When your outboard is started the 716 VSR directs all the charge to the starting battery. When your starting battery reaches 13.7 volts the 716 VSR connects the starting and house batteries, allowing both batteries to charge together. When your outboard is turned off the battery voltage will begin to fall back to it's normal operating voltage, once it has dropped to 12.8 volts the batteries will seperate ensuring the starting and house batteries are isolated from one another. This ensures that your starting battery has sufficent power to start your outboard.

There is a third switch on the 716 that gives you the capability to align both your batteries in the emergency parallel configuration for starting purposes. This is in the event that neither battery has sufficent charge to start your outboard (think of it as the both position on a standard marine two battery switch).

Here are some pictures of the BEP 716.

Photo: BEP Battery Switch Cluster

Photo: BEP Battery Switch Cluster, Rear View

In Line Fuse

BEP Cluster Front View

I've installed the BEP 716 on 15 boats over the last 18 months and have gotten nothing but positive feedback from my clients. If you choose to do this it will run you right around $180.00 for the 716, two inline fuse busses, two 60 amp fuses, and two additional AWG 4 battery terminal cables. There you go.


stagalv posted 01-22-2007 06:01 PM ET (US)     Profile for stagalv  Send Email to stagalv     
Thanks for your input on the subject. I have really enjoyed your discussions and videos lately.


bluewaterpirate posted 01-22-2007 08:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Thanks Rex
jimh posted 01-22-2007 09:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
When I finally saw the BEP battery switches in person, I was surprised by their small size. Have any customers complained about that?
bluewaterpirate posted 01-22-2007 09:53 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
Not really Jim ....
bluewaterpirate posted 01-22-2007 10:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
There is one other neat trick you can do with the BEP 716 and that is you can connect a battery charger to it by connecting the positive output terminal of the battery charger to Stud "A" on the starter battery switch. You set the starter battery switch to "ON" and set the house battery switch to "OFF". This will allow the VSR to engage and charge both batteries. Kind of like "One Stop Shopping."


You connect the grounding terminal of the battery charger to the negative post on the start battery to complete the circuit.


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